Networking Sights

Until a few years ago,the only networking I knew was when someone would ask me,”Net working?” and I’d reply in the affirmative or negative.It was only after entering the third and final year of college that a senior introduced me to Orkut and made me sign up.She was horrified to discover my utter lack of knowledge about the networking site and immediately began a series of tutorials,hoping to get me onto the networking bandwagon.Facebook followed soon after,along with Twitter,MySpace and LinkedIn.I felt immensely proud of myself every time I opened an account with a networking site.I was now a part of the networking junta,and could converse easily with the other “sited” people and assume an air of mild condescence when talking to a non-site person.”I got poked” “Fifty people just liked my comment” “My comment got RTed twenty times”.The poor blokes would stare at me with their mouths slightly open,and listen attentively to this new language emerging from my mouth.

Social networking sites boomed out of nowhere and became ingrained in our tech DNA.Not having a profile on a site automatically renders you to an alien category.”You don’t have a Facebook profile?Omg,are you like,even from this planet?” Two of my colleagues were engaged in an intense chatting session in office.It would’ve been a normal situation but for the fact that they were sitting right next to each other.

You do anything,you put in on your profile.Woke up at 6 am today and had noodles for breakfast?Got a new phone? Cried after watching Casablanca? Read Dostoevsky? Put it all on your profile.Watch the sea of comments emerge.Counter comment.Block offensive comments.Poke people back.Send them virtual gifts.Oh,also become a farmer online.Have your own crops,till the land,plant exotic vegetables and fruits.Or you can also open a cafe and see it flourish.If not feeling particularly up to it,let your neighbor’s crops wither and die.But be prepared for a mega poke from him.

Virtual friends outnumber the flesh and blood ones.570 friends.700 friends.I even saw a profile with 10,000 friends.Chatting with ten people simultaneously is easy compared to having a heart-to-heart with a trusted buddy.Watching photos on a computer screen can never rival flipping through an album with friends all around you,laughing and sharing memories.I particuarly cringe when someone mentions e-readers.How can the glossy glass surface of an e-reader possibly match up to a real book,with real pages,smelling of old wood and print?

True,these sites have definitely connected billions of people.I’ve found and am in touch with almost all of my classmates since kindergarten.That’s an amazing feat of technology.To find people and information from any corner of the globe.True,I like it when someone “Likes” my comment or posts a compliment on my photos.True,I like it when I am able to chat with my old schoolmates and keep in touch with their lives.But also true is the fact that no networking site,no simulation program can ever replace real human emotions and real human touch.You might go online and dive into all the sites possible,but at the end of the day,you just want to turn the darn thing off and race home to a good meal,a warm hug,a meaningful conversation and a good night’s sleep.

***********************************************************************************************************

Heard the other day.

Two of my colleagues talking.One of them,not so tech savvy.

C1(into the phone):Are you online?

C2:(puzzled):Yes.

C1:But I can’t see your status here.

C2(more puzzled):What status?

C1(irritated):Uff..your status.Status online.

C2(angry now):Listen.I’m on the line.What are you talking about?What status?

C1:Wait a sec.Did you say on the line?

C2(really angry):Of course,you genius.How can I talk to you otherwise?I’m on this line.

C1(understanding):Oh.You’re offline,but on the line.I get it.

C2(putting the phone down and walking away,shaking her head)